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‘MTSU On the Record’ reviews COVID-19 ...

‘MTSU On the Record’ reviews COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on college libraries

User Service Assistant Molly Burnette, left, and Circulation Assistant Paul Burt, right, gather and sort books inside MTSU's James E. Walker Library for the facility's “Pull and Hold” service, implemented shortly after the pandemic shut down in-person classes and services in mid-March 2020, in these file photos. Dr. Karen Reed, an education librarian at MTSU, will discuss how college librarians' workloads changed as students and faculties moved to online learning when she guests on the “MTSU On the Record” radio program airing at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, and again at 6 a.m. Sunday, July 3, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. (MTSU file photos by J. Intintoli)

A recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program focused on the toll of shifting from regular service to almost total online service on college libraries.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Karen Reed, an education librarian with the James E. Walker Library at MTSU, first aired June 28 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation via the SoundCloud link below.

Dr. Karen Nourse Reed, assistant professor, James E. Walker Library
Dr. Karen Reed
Gina K. Logue, MTSU News and Media Relations specialist
Gina K. Logue

Reed is the co-author of a study of how librarians’ roles and responsibilities changed after March 2020.

That’s when college and university libraries began to focus more on online resources as the COVID-19 outbreak caused students to transition from in-person classroom attendance to online learning.

The researchers found that, while the nature of the librarians’ work did not change significantly, their volume of work and the stress associated with trying to serve patrons increased considerably.

logo for MTSU's James E. Walker Library

That service included assisting faculty members who had to move all their instructional content to online platforms very quickly.

“One nice finding of our paper was … the faculty wanting to reach out and tap these librarians for help,” Reed said.

“It was the value of prior relationships before COVID — that faculty knew their librarians, that they knew who to go to for help and they knew what the librarians were capable of and that they could help them.”

WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM logo

The study, titled “Crisis Librarianship: An Examination of Online Librarianship Roles in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was published in April 2022 in the Journal of Academic Librarianship.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com

For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

User Service Assistant Molly Burnette, left, and Circulation Assistant Paul Burt, right, gather and sort books inside MTSU's James E. Walker Library for the facility's “Pull and Hold” service, implemented shortly after the pandemic shut down in-person classes and services in mid-March 2020, in these file photos. Dr. Karen Reed, an education librarian at MTSU, will discuss how college librarians' workloads changed as students and faculties moved to online learning when she guests on the “MTSU On the Record” radio program airing at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, and again at 6 a.m. Sunday, July 3, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. (MTSU file photos by J. Intintoli)
User Service Assistant Molly Burnette, left, and Circulation Assistant Paul Burt, right, gather and sort books inside MTSU’s James E. Walker Library for the facility’s “Pull and Hold” service, implemented shortly after the pandemic shut down in-person classes and services in mid-March 2020, in these file photos. Dr. Karen Reed, an education librarian at MTSU, discussed how college librarians’ workloads changed as students and faculties moved to online learning on the “MTSU On the Record” radio program that first aired June 28 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. (MTSU file photos by J. Intintoli)

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